1. Sootywren

    Sootywren Registered User

    Jun 20, 2015
    Ringwood, Hampshire
    Hello all, this is my first post and I have been lurking for a few days.

    I have by default become the primary carer for my father in law who has dementia.
    He has come back from Australia where he has lived for the past 22 years to live with my husband, son and myself.
    We visited earlier this year and found a frail elderly gentleman (82) who was not coping living on his own, not eating losing a significant amount of weight, and his fantastic neighbors and community were unsure what to do with him. I could not leave him on his own he has no family in Oz, my mother in law having died some 6 years ago, - his children all live in the UK.
    So last month I returned to Oz, sorted out the house, put it on the market, packed him up and bought his home with me. My husband had thought he would buy a flat in town and live on his own, however FIL has latched on to me as his carer and says he knows I will look after him, I think he will stay here until he reaches a level by where he needs more care than I can give and then he will need to go to a care home.

    In truth I feel a little panicky about what the future holds, I know I could not have left him in the situation that he was in but I barely know the man, in the past 20 years I have met him probably 8 times and these past few weeks have spent more time with him that I have over the previous 20 years, I cannot help feeling a bit resentful about his daughters who are not planning on visiting him until the end of August.
    I feel I am doing the right thing but am scared about what I have taken on.
  2. chrisdee

    chrisdee Registered User

    Nov 23, 2014
    #2 chrisdee, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
    First of all, I am sorry that you have been pushed into this potentially very challenging situation. Clearly you have 'rescued' FIL in his hour of need and you have already done so much, but honestly, I would counsel you not to take this on alone, how involved will your OH be? Blood family need to respond first, in my opinion, get them involved asap. Someone on here has probably been in your shoes and can give you some useful direction.
    Also, is he entitled to NHS treatment? sorry to be so negative, you are clearly a caring person.
  3. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    near Folkestone
    Hello, I think your kindness shines through your post. Sorry you are daunted by the prospect of being a long term carer . I suggest you get as much help as possible starting with an appointment with GP and transferral to Mental health. Admiral nurses are always a great help and support and point you in the right direction for practical support. Do get all the family on board too . It must be all a bit overwhelming for you but you can always count on advise here. TP is full of wonderful people who understand and care x

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  4. Cinder

    Cinder Registered User

    Dec 14, 2014
    I am in a similar situation, although my MIL was rescued from Ireland, which is a little closer! I also barely know her and am now in the position of performing some fairly intimate tasks, such as washing her, that my husband would feel uncomfortable performing.
    I won't lie, it's not easy. But the right thing is rarely the easy thing. I'm not sure how old your son is (my boys are 5 and 2) but I also would not underestimate the adjustment he will have to make. My eldest found it very hard and we had behaviour & sleep issues for about a year. If I might be so bold as to offer advice, it would be to keep time for your relationship with your husband. The lack of privacy becomes wearing, particularly with someone you barely know constantly present. Find someone to cover so you can get time alone.
    You have done / are doing an amazing thing. Very few people are willing to take in a parent-in-law. Fewer still one with dementia.

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  5. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    What a phenomenal job you have done and your FIL obviously feels very safe and secure with you.

    I know that his daughters aren't coming to visit until August but that gives you time to make sure that you have a family meeting when they are there. It is not unreasonable for you to insist on that and it would give you the opportunity to place the responsibility for their Dad firmly where it belongs. And that includes your OH.

    There have been a few threads on here about difficulties with siblings so you have a lot to contend with but you sound as if you are a remarkable person as well as very competent. Just be wary of being manipulated into a position that could see you stuck for years with no way out.
  6. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    Hi and welcome :)

    As others have said, I think you are doing an amazing job. However, this is not what you signed up for, is it? Do you think you can continue caring for your FIL on an indefinite basis? Because no-one knows what the time scale may be, and the longer he's with you, the harder it will be to break the pattern.....

    I wonder, do you think that FIL could live alone with support? Some members on here have found supported living complexes, where the person needing help has their own flat but is monitored and supported. Many places provide meals, and some have regular care teams who can be brought in. There's a whole range. You might even look at a retirement village, which has lots of activities, communal lounge , bowls club, swimming pool or whatever.....and many have care homes on site, for when that time comes.

    So I guess I'm saying....can you commit to years of very demanding care for FIL? If not (and that would be more than understandable) there are lots of other options.

    I would suggest that you take a long hard look at the situation now, before arrangements become entrenched. And of course, reassure FIL that you will not abandon him, will always visit etc and ensure he is okay.

    Hope this helps :)

    Good luck

    Lindy xx
  7. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    Hello, and a warm welcome from me too. I agree with everyone else! You've done a marvellous thing for your FiL, but it seems that like you say, he's latched on to you for the security that you have given him, and given the circumstances this is a bit unfair on you. You're obviously a very kind and caring person, and of course you want to do the right thing by him.

    Unfortunately dementia is a progressive disease and things are likely to get worse :(. I agree that a family meeting is needed, and some decisions agreed. I hope you get lots of support and help from the rest of the family.

    Good luck, and keep posting!
  8. Sootywren

    Sootywren Registered User

    Jun 20, 2015
    Ringwood, Hampshire
    Thank you

    Thank you all, I will take on board those really helpful comments.
    Unfortunately no Admiral nurses locally
    I have registered FIL with a GP so will arrange to see him to see what assistance we can access. I may also try social services re accommodation possibilities. FIL is lonely and needs more social interaction.

    Today he took himself off to the pub and found some people to talk to, however he got lost on the way back and I had a phone call to say the police were with him. I was only at work for 4 hours but feel like I am a bad "parent" He had a house key and the police waited for me to get home, they were very kind.
    Still he now has a card in his pocket with his cheque card with his name address and my phone number. Now off to the pub to leave name and address there

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.